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Partners united for salmon, steelhead and lamprey extend Columbia Basin Fish Accords - 10/12/18

Portland, Ore. – States, tribes and three federal agencies continue to work side by side for the good of endangered salmon and steelhead as they extend the historic Columbia Basin Fish Accords for up to four more years.

The original agreements, signed in 2008, provided states and tribes more than $900 million to implement projects benefiting salmon, steelhead, and other fish and wildlife, and $50 million for Pacific lamprey passage improvements at federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

The Accords partnerships over the past 10 years balanced the agencies’ needs to perform their missions of navigation, flood risk management, hydropower production, fish and wildlife mitigation, recreation, water supply and irrigation in a manner consistent with tribal trust and treaty rights.

The new Accords extensions could run through September 2022 and will set aside more than $400 million for fish and wildlife mitigation and protection.

Since 2008, Accord dollars have: protected more than 36,000 acres of riparian habitat and improved nearly 7,000 acres; protected nearly 100,000 acre-feet of water; restored nearly 600 miles of streams and tributaries; opened access to nearly 2,000 miles of blocked fish habitat; and improved Pacific lamprey passage at dams operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The agreements also committed funding for hatcheries.

"With this renewed commitment, we look forward to building on the momentum and progress of the past 10 years," said Brig. Gen. Pete Helmlinger, commander of the Corps’ Northwestern Division.

 “These agreements continue to represent a significant, regional partnership,” says Lorri Gray, Pacific Northwest Regional Director for the Bureau of Reclamation. “The work we’ve accomplished with the Accords illustrates the progress we can make for fish when we work together. We've seen that spending dollars on improving habitat is good for the fish and good for the region.”

“These extensions ensure we will continue to benefit from years of collaboration and direct coordination with our Accords partners,” says Elliot Mainzer, administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration. “The alignment derived from these agreements ensures we will continue to get the highest value for the fish and wildlife investments we make in the region.”

Accord agreements were extended with the Shoshone Bannock Tribes, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, the states of Idaho and Montana, BPA, the Corps and Reclamation.To read the new agreements, go to  www.bpa.gov/goto/FishAccordsExtensions.

Media Advisory - Salmon, orcas, dams -- federal agencies set record straight - 10/03/18

Portland, Ore. – Experts from two federal agencies will provide information and be available to address questions from the media regarding Columbia and Snake river dams, salmon abundance and southern resident killer whales, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018.

Representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bonneville Power Administration will give presentations and answer reporter questions. Members of the press who join the information session will be asked to provide their name and official media affiliation.

WHAT: Media availability with federal experts

WHO: Senior VP of BPA Generation Asset Management, Kieran Connolly and Chief of Civil Works Integration Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division, Beth Coffey

When: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018

2:00 p.m. PDT (meeting access and sign-in will open at 1:45 pm)

When it's time, join the meeting.

For technical assistance call: 503-230-5131

Join by phone 1-415-527-5035 US Toll

Meeting number (access code) 981 795 581

 

BPA completes 35th consecutive U.S. Treasury payment - 10/03/18

Portland, Ore. – The Bonneville Power Administration paid its 35th consecutive U.S. Treasury payment today. This year’s $862 million payment brings BPA’s cumulative payments to the Treasury during those 35 years to over $29.8 billion.

“This is a significant milestone that demonstrates BPA’s ability to meet all of its financial obligations on an ongoing basis, regardless of changing conditions and markets,” said Michelle Manary, BPA executive vice president and chief financial officer. “It’s also important because it provides a full and timely payment for the benefit of U.S. taxpayers.”

The Treasury payment is significant because it’s BPA’s lowest priority payment and is made only after all other financial obligations are paid in the fiscal year. BPA sets its rates to maintain an annual 97.5 percent probability of making this payment. 

This year’s payment includes $569 million in principal, $226 million in interest and $27 million for irrigation assistance, which BPA provides to help irrigators repay their share of certain Reclamation projects.  

BPA applied $93 million of credits toward this year’s Treasury payment. BPA received most of this credit under a section of the Northwest Power Act as reimbursement for the non-power share of fish and wildlife costs it pays annually.

In addition to the U.S. Treasury payment, BPA paid operations and maintenance expenses for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service projects directly funded by BPA. This direct funding amounted to $421 million in fiscal year 2018.

BPA is a self-financed power marketing administration that receives no annual appropriation funding from Congress. Instead, BPA primarily recovers its costs through revenues from the sale of electric power and transmission services.